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William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

Professor, PhD Program in Educational Leadership, PVAMU/Member Texas A&M University

Many individuals have a philosophy embedded in their subconscious minds. Although one does not realize altogether that certain beliefs follow a selected philosophic approach, individual actions parallel certain philosophies more than others. The following medium offers information concerning personal philosophic beliefs so that a basic understanding can be obtained and a personal philosophy developed. Please answer the following statements on the answer sheet at the end of this section utilizing the scale: Strongly Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Agree |--------1------------------2------------------3-----------------4------------------5-------| The subjects of a school are the most important feature of an education. 2. Schools should promote a teacher-centered environment in order to encourage effective learning. 3. Education is a prerequisite for a student to understand life’s intentions. 4. What students are taught should be determined solely by student interest and input. 5. The deductive approach is the most effective method of teaching any subject to students. 6. Universal truth is an individual perception. 7. If it happens, it is real. 8. Disregard the past and you are destined to repeat it. 9. A school’s curriculum should be determined by the specific needs of each community, where content is designed for the betterment of each student. 10. Education should focus strongly on the development of reasoning skills of students. 11. Curricular content should center primarily on the scientific method for resolving dilemmas. 12. Students should be free to explore their interests in whatever fashion they desire. 13. The climate in which one lives solely defines one’s behavior. 14. All children can learn the same thing, but not at the same rate. 15. Students should be placed in classrooms according to their individual abilities. 16. All reform movements in education are basically the same. 17. The curriculum for students should contain a specific nucleus of information that is indigenous for all literate people. 18. Ethical behavior and morality should be incorporated into a student’s learning process.

19. The curriculum of a school should not be decided by a small circle of school officials, but by all involved parties within the community. 20. What is real is perceived differently by individuals, therefore no two things can be the same. 21. Learning by specified programs of material in sequence is paramount to a child’s education. 22. Teachers need to give more individual assistance in the classroom. 23. Students with a mental disability cannot learn the same subject matter as regular students and should not be placed in a regular classroom environment. 24. Money is not the total answer to increased student achievement. 25. Learning to read proficiently is the solution to the educational dilemma. 26. Each individual in society must attain a specified body of knowledge to function properly. 27. Student needs, experiences, and interests should be the determining factor when designing a school’s curriculum. 28. A school’s curriculum should contain more electives for students to choose. 29. A complete curricular analysis for effective teaching should include scope, sequence, articulation, pacing, and, most importantly, reward or reinforcement. 30. All teachers have an underlying concern for students and the learning process. 31. Effective education begins at the home. 32. Traditional education of the 1950s should be reinstated in the school curriculum. 33. Teachers should not teach in areas where their proficiency is below average. 34. More emphasis should be placed on “The Great Men” and “The Great Books” of past civilizations. 35. The curriculum should be entirely a hands-on, practical approach. 36. Student achievement cannot take place in a traditional, lecture-oriented format. 37. The environment is a tangible place where material is a solid representation of what is. 38. Students learn best in a one-on-one basis. 39. Students, teachers, parents, and administrators should decide solely on the curricular structure of a school. 40. What works in one environment does not necessarily work in another. 41. There should be a distinct division of subject matter, not the consolidated collection presently advocated. 42. Art/music appreciation should stress past contributions rather than practical applications. 43. The teacher’s sole function in the classroom should be to guide students through problem-solving situations. 44. A school environment should nurture students to find their roles in society. 45. Fool me once, shame on you–fool me twice, shame on me. 46. Children are born with universal knowledge and it is the teacher’s job to bring forth that knowledge.

47. The universe is made from scientific laws and the scientific process is designed to explain our existence. 48. If it works, it is true. 49. Enculturation is the primary function of education. 50. A school’s curriculum should concentrate on long-range goals, not on immediate concerns. 51. A student should feel free to be inventive and communicate inner curiosities without the threat of reprimand. 52. Individuals are first an introvert and second an extrovert. 53. The scientific approach is the best approach to effectively understand explained and unexplained phenomenon. 54. Reality is what one believes. 55. Teachers should always adapt and should be flexible in the learning environment. 56. We learn best from experience. 57. A strict, proven curricular format is necessary to ensure proper learning. 58. Even though students learn at different rates, every student should be exposed to the same learning material. 59. School environments should be void of any autocracy by the teachers and/or administration. 60. Every child evolves at a different rate, both physically and mentally, and should be free, without interference, to do so. 61. Students learn best when given an incentive or reward. 62. Students know what they need to know and should follow their beliefs. 63. Teachers are in the best position to determine appropriate learning activities. 64. Our past dictates our future. 65. Students do not do enough outside assignments for effective exposure to the subject matter. 66. The Socratic method of questioning should be utilized more in the classroom to cultivate critical thinking skills. 67. Student-to-student interaction is the best learning method. 68. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” because there is no standardized scale for measuring beauty. 69. Moral and ethical values are not inborn traits, but learned processes. 70. Perceptions are everything in learning. 71. Student success is a product of his/her environment regardless of intellectual capability. 72. Field trips should be utilized more often to enhance the learning process. 73. All teachers of a given subject should teach the same content in order to establish continuity of learning. 74. Students learn by themselves under direct supervision of the teacher. 75. Students learn better when grouped together than when separated for individual investigation.

76. Having a child feel good about himself/herself is more important than what he/she learns. 77. Standardized tests are the best measures of student achievement. 78. There is no universal standard to describe beauty except in what one perceives. 79. A structured curriculum is best for students to learn. 80. I hear and I forget–I see and I remember–I do and I understand.

Copyright © 2011 William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

William Allan Kritsonis, PhD - Copyright © 2011

ANSWER SHEET Place each numbered response for the corresponding questions in the appropriate space below. Scale Strongly Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Agree |--------1------------------2------------------3-----------------4------------------5-------| A 1. __ 9. __ 17. __ 25. __ 33. __ 41. __ 49. __ 57. __ 65. __ 73. __ B 2. __ 10. __ 18. __ 26. __ 34. __ 42. __ 50. __ 58. __ 66. __ 74. __ C 3. __ 11. __ 19. __ 27. __ 35. __ 43. __ 51. __ 59. __ 67. __ 75. __ D 4. __ 12. __ 20. __ 28. __ 36. __ 44. __ 52. __ 60. __ 68. __ 76. __ E 5. __ 13. __ 21. __ 29. __ 37. __ 45. __ 53. __ 61. __ 69. __ 77. __ F 6. __ 14. __ 22. __ 30. __ 38. __ 46. __ 54. __ 62. __ 70. __ 78. __ G 7.___ 15.___ 23.___ 31.___ 39.___ 47.___ 55.___ 63.___ 71.___ 79.___ H 8.___ 16.___ 24.___ 32.___ 40.___ 48.___ 56.___ 64.___ 72.___ 80.___

William Allan Kritsonis, PhD - Copyright © 2011

SCORING Step 1 Total points for each column and place in the appropriate blank below. A____ Step 2 Place the total of each column in the corresponding blanks below. Major Philosophic Off-Shoots Column A = ____ Essentialist Column B = ____ Perennialist Column C = ____ Progressivist Column D = ____ Existentialist Major Philosophies Column E = ____ Behaviorist Column F = ____ Idealist Column G = ____ Realist Column H = ____ Pragmatist B____ C____ D____ E____ F____ G____ H____

Scores indicate your agreement or disagreement with a particular philosophical point of view. The highest score indicates a more prominent consensus and the lowest score indicates a more prominent conflict. The highest possible score for any philosophical category is 50 and the lowest possible score is 10. Comparing the scores on the left to the scores on the right will offer an interesting perspective concerning original philosophic views to the philosophic off-shoots. The participant is directed to corresponding sections within the text for a review of philosophic convictions.

William Allan Kritsonis, PhD – Copyright © 2011

William Allan Kritsonis, PhD – Copyright © 2011

KEY POINTS 1. Philosophy is not a science; it is an attempt to understand the world. 2. Educational philosophy is the application of formal philosophy to the field of education. 3. Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that deals with ultimate reality; epistemology focuses on knowledge, and axiology deals with the study of values. 4. Idealism, the philosophy of Plato, focuses on the search for truth. 5. Realism, the philosophy of Aristotle, supports the notion that knowledge can be gained through the senses and from deductive reasoning. 6. Pragmatism is an American philosophy that is associated with human experience; John Dewey was a prominent pragmatist. 7. Existentialism, an individualized philosophy, represents a radical departure from other schools of philosophy and focuses on the individual. 8. Perennialism is an educational philosophy developed from realism, while the educational philosophy of essentialism is the basis for the back-to-the-basics movement in education. 9. Progressivism is associated with problem-solving reconstructionism focuses on social reform. techniques, while

10. Basic philosophy and educational philosophy are directly related to what occurs in school classrooms. 11. Philosophy directly impacts on curriculum and teaching practices. 12. Some philosophies encourage a highly structured curriculum with close student monitoring, while others focus on limited structure and wide freedoms for students. Dr. Kritsonis provides basic information regarding philosophy and educational philosophy. It begins by discussing the basic philosophies, such as idealism and realism, and then moves into a discussion of specific educational philosophies. B. KEY TERMS–DEFINITIONS ANALYTICAL - allows the use of language to analyze words; currently the dominating activity of American and British philosophers; given to studying a problem by breaking it down into its various parts.

ANALYTICAL PHILOSOPHY - philosophy based on analytical activity. AXIOLOGY - area of philosophy that focuses on values. BEHAVIORAL ENGINEERING - Philosophy of education that focuses on controlling the learner’s environment. BEHAVIORISM - educational philosophy and practice that emphasized reinforcing appropriate behavior or learning: includes the concepts of stimulus and response. ECLECTIC - selecting what appears to be the best doctrines, methods, styles, or philosophies. EPISTEMOLOGY - deals with knowledge; therefore, directly related to the instructional methods employed by teachers. ESSENTIALISM - area of philosophy that believes a common core of knowledge and ideals should be the focus of the curriculum. EXISTENTIALISM - philosophy that emphasizes individuals and individual decisionmaking. IDEALISM - a philosophy that emphasizes global ideas related to moral teachings. METAPHYSICS - the branch of philosophy that deals with ultimate reality. ONTOLOGY - the study of what is real; the primary focus of metaphysics dealing with what is real about material objects, the universe, persons, being, mind, existence, and so forth. Hard core reality. PERENNIALISM - educational philosophy that believes in the existence of unchanging universal truths. PRAGMATISM - philosophy that focuses on practical application of knowledge. PRESCRIPTIVE - attempts to establish standards for assessing values, judging conduct and appraising art: ordered with the force of authority. PROGRESSIVISM - educational philosophy emphasizing experience. RECONSTRUCTIONISM - educational philosophy calling for schools to get involved and support social reform. SPECULATIVE - considerate of possibilities and probabilities; philosophy is a search for orderliness applied to all knowledge; it applies systematic thinking to everything that exists. SYNOPTIC - providing a general summary of data collected at many points to present an overview. SYNTHESIS - assembling various parts into a whole; reasoning from self-evident propositions, laws or principles to arrive by a series of deductions at what one seeks to establish; enables educators to see the relationship of ideas to practice.